The castles in Tunisia don’t look like they are made of stone. Not European stones, anyway. Those make for grey castles – the kind most of us are familiar with.
No, Tunisian castles look like sandcastles. The soft yellow stones look like knobs of buttered polenta. Or couscous.
I know, because this is one of the twelve countries I visited when I was a teen. I went for my senior trip (from Luxembourg, where I was living at the time).
While I was there I wanted to eat up those castles.
I mean look at this…
But before I ever saw the castles, I had to feel Tunisia. I stepped off of the plane, into the heat. The humidity squeezed me like a giant hug.
Not only was it hot enough to swim at 8 a.m., it was hot enough to want to.
The food was suitably refreshing. I had lots of tomato salads, grilled meats, and even grilled salads [Recipe]. In the morning, chakchouka was common, a quick fix cobbled together with simmered eggplant, peppers, onion, and sausage. Hold the eggs. On the side could be bread or couscous.
Like their Moroccan neighbors, Tunisians also enjoy a good tagine, filled with aromatic chicken, fish, vegetables, and more (I made a Lamb with sweet honey figs tagine for Morocco, yum).
Tunisian food employs a range of seasonings, from spicy harissa, olives, cinnamon, and coriander.
For dessert, you’ll find many people looking to cash in on sweet nibbles, like almond honey samsa [Recipe]. Others love a big jolt of coffee. When I was there, in 1999, coffee shops were a favorite pastime for the men’s social hour (rather like the smoking room used to be in America).
Have you been to Tunisia?
What do you love about Tunisian food?